1999. New Castle: Oak Knoll, 1999.
8vo, xxiii, 285pp. Illustrated throughout, including all the known portraits of Dibdin. Original blue cloth stamped in gilt, Jeffrey Thomas’s copy inscribed to him by Windle and with a few ephemeral items about Dibdin inserted in xerox copies.
§ First and to date the only edition. This brave if foolhardy attempt at describing the indescribable, all editions and variants of Dibdin’s entire oeuvre, was viciously attacked by a pusillanimous (and cravenly anonymous) reviewer in The Book Collector who was rumored to have been working on the subject for decades. To this date (2018) he has not revealed himself, published the innumerable corrections he called for, responded to the offer of a corrigenda pamphlet printed at the author’s own expense, nor issued his own work if it even exists. An apology would be nice after almost two decades but is not expected. Other critics were kind, with Roger Stoddard, Arthur Freeman, Ian Jackson and scholarly journals noting that the collations and descriptions are generally reliable and the notes reasonably accurate. It was also heartbreaking that Oak Knoll failed to make the final corrections and used the uncorrected files for the illustrations -- resulting in every bibliographer’s nightmare scenario, Dibdin’s name misspelt on the frontispiece. Fleck cheaply refused to recall the edition or even issue an errata sheet despite every illustration having some problem. Perhaps it was all to be expected given that the subject himself was notoriously at odds with his printers and illustrators etc. Item #110505